Friday, May 13, 2016


Rajan Patel:

iPhone users—this one’s for you. Meet Gboard, a new app for your iPhone that lets you search and send information, GIFs, emojis and more, right from your keyboard.


With Gboard, you can search and send all kinds of things—restaurant info, flight times, news articles—right from your keyboard. Anything you’d search on Google, you can search with Gboard. Results appear as cards with the key information front and center, such as the phone number, ratings and hours. With one tap, you can send it to your friend and you keep the conversation going.

John Gruber:

This privacy policy could change in the future, of course. Deals can be altered, and Google’s history of deliberately circumventing iOS privacy features is well-documented. But right now, it looks like Gboard is actually private. In fact, so far as I can tell, not only are you not required to sign into a Google account to use it — there is no way to sign in to a Google account even if you wanted to. Queries sent through Gboard don’t show up in my Google search history, even when I’m signed into my Google account in other Google iOS apps. Only what you type in Gboard’s search input field gets sent to Google, and even that is always sent anonymously.

With iOS multitasking and clipboard actions being relatively awkward, this could be really convenient. I was pleasantly surprised by how well swipe-typing worked—much better than with other iOS keyboards I had tried. However, there are two major flaws: it doesn’t support 3D Touch cursor movement, and it doesn’t support the system typing suggestions. These are probably due to OS limitations.

Update (2016-05-13): Edward Marczak:

GBoard apparently supports cursor moment via sliding right and left on the spacebar. Great for us non-3D Touch people.

This is interesting because it seems faster and more reliable than 3D Touch, but it does not support moving vertically.

Update (2016-05-14): Gboard has a nice feature where the Delete key deletes the entire previous word if the cursor is at the end. I also noticed that TextExpander expansions in OmniFocus don’t work when using Gboard.

Honza Dvorsky:

Google knows very well who you are, since shared containers of all apps from one company share data.

David Pogue:

Plenty of little companies make those free software keyboards, of course. But how weird is it that two behemoths—Microsoft and Google—both turn out to have been working on iOS keyboards in parallel?


If you tap it, you insert only a link to a Google search for that information—not the information itself […] You’re forcing your recipients to open their browsers and, of course, do a Google search, rather than just showing the information you’re seeing in the results.


Before you rush off to download Gboard, here’s a sobering bit of news: You lose the ability to dictate text.

Update (2016-05-16): John Gruber:

They could use shared containers to share login data, but they don’t in Gboard, at least now.

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FYI most if not all 3rd party keyboards eliminate the mic button preventing dictation, not just Gboard.

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